The stylishly understated, graphite-look Samsung U600 is the manufacturer's slimmest slider phone so far, at 10.9mm. But depite its record-breakingly slim profile, this slider phone feels robust and great in the hand.
The Samsung U600 manages to fit a great deal into its slim frame, including a 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus, and 262,000-colour screen, a multi-format music player with Bang and Olufsen amplifier, Bluetooth connectivity, smart search and smart messaging and 60MB of built-in memory.
The Samsung U600 is let down by two irritating factors: the touch-sensitive keys, which are difficult to use and slow down web browsing and messaging; and the way the camera is configured to only work with the slider open, which makes the phone feel unwieldy.
The Samsung U600's camera produces slick, good-quality photos, showed off to their best on the 262,000-colour screen. Music, meanwhile, sounds great on the digital amplifier, and is always easy to find thanks to an uncomplicated filing system. Smart search and smart messaging are well-executed.
Unfortunately, battery life is not the best on the Samsung U600. A talktime of 240 minutes means that heavy phone users will be reaching for the recharger on a regular basis.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:48:44 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
A fabulous looking phone that won't dent your pocket one bit.
The touch-sensitive soft keys just slow things down.
The Samsung U600 rocketed to the top of the contract phone bestsellers chart before we got our hands on it, but we reckon it's still worth reviewing.By and large, it deserves to be a big seller.An evolved version of the popular Samsung D900, the U600 has a flying start, thinner and with a better camera. Samsung's crack creative design team has excelled with the graphite-hued, stylishly understated U600. It is slim enough to break records yet robust and, aesthetically, everything works together in perfect harmony. In short, it's unfeasibly dinky, it looks great, the camera's slick, the screen's great and you'll find some well-executed features like smart messaging and smart search
While its slim profile makes it a pleasure to pocket, we do have issues with the ergonomics. Our first niggle concerns the touch-sensitive keys. There are four on the Samsung U600 - two soft keys and the call accept and reject keys - and they are a bit of a pain to use. Touch-sensitive keys are an acquired taste, but have been embraced by Korean manufacturers like Samsung and LG, and feature on the Apple iPhone. Those on the Samsung U600 work well but there are standard clickable keys too which are far more user friendly.
The Samsung U600's 3.2-megapixel camera with auto-focus is almost certainly the best mobile camera yet released in the UK. Photo quality is extremely sharp, especially in daylight, and the video camera is equally impressive.Like the majority of slider phones, the slider must be open to reveal the camera lens and switch the phone to camera mode. Unfortunately, because the phone is so slim, taking photos with the slider open can make the it feel unbalanced. Overall, we were impressed with the quality of the U600's photos, and the 262,000-colour display really does the images justice. Auto-focus creates a slightly frustrating lag between framing the shot and capturing the image, but this also means that you're not stuck with a digital album full of distorted mug shots or blurred action sequences.
The Samsung U600's impressive music player features a Bang and Olufsen digital amplifier and supports multiple formats including MP3, AAC, AAC+, e-AAC+ and WMA. Quality was everything we'd expect from a cutting-edge digital player. Tracks can be filed by artist, genre, album and composer, you can create playlists, and the U600 will also keep you informed about last played, recently played and most played tracks.As for storage, the phone comes with 60MB of built-in memory, which can be expanded up to 2GB via a microSD memory card.
Although most of the features on the Samsung U600 would sit happily on a smartphone, the WAP 2.0 browser is disappointing if you're expecting the full web experience, but perfectly fine for most data-grabbing needs.That said - and this applies to messaging too - entering web addresses is fiddly as need to travel back and forth between the clickable keypad and the touch-sensitive soft keys to enter text and symbols.
There's plenty more to shout about with the Samsung U600, including Java games, PIM, connectivity options, smart search and smart messaging.However, the key to this beauty's success is essentially down to its slim good looks and extremely funky design and finish. The touch-sensitive controls are a tad annoying and detract from the user experience, but Samsung has the Midas touch when it comes to design. The manufacturer has struck gold with the U600.